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Panting dogs

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  • Panting dogs

    In school I was taught to groom the heads last so that you can be sure it is proportional to the body....makes sense and I have always followed this general rule, but lately I've had quite a few nervous little guys in the shop. It seems that they get more and more worked up throughout the grooming process, so by the time I get to their head they are panting like crazy. And I don't know about all of you but I find it nearly impossible to groom a face properly when their trap is hanging open. As soon as they close it everything I just trimmed now looks crooked. Anyone have any thoughts on how to get them to close up? I also might try starting with the head on these anxious dogs in hopes that I can get through it before they get all worked up.

  • #2
    On some of my more nervous dogs I do have to start with the head. It just makes more sense to me to do it first and just get it overwith. At least that way I know I'll get more of done.

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    • #3
      You will get used to this with time. I just put my fingers under their mouth to close it when I am trimming around the mouth. A few snips and I let them breath, comb it and go again.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        Some dogs come in nervous and panting anyway. I start on the faces, to get them to close their mouth I gently blow on their tongue, this makes them close, then I just make a ring with my index and around muzzle, so they cant lick or open make a few cuts like Lisa said, let them take a break, comb it and repeat.

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        • #5
          I usually start with the head, because I like to be able to see the dogs eyes, and because I know if the dog gets too stressed or rambunctious, the head at least will be done. I hate to get a dog all groomed and have him decide he's had enough, and we have to struggle over his face. Where the eyes are. Eyes that I really don't want to poke.

          I don't worry about getting it in proportion anymore. I already have a mental picture of how the dog is going to look when I'm finished, and work to achieve that. It all falls into place by the time I'm done.

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          • #6
            I also do the head last unless I know that mom or dad will be walking through the door soon. I always just hold the mouth closed snip a few, let the dog have air and continue this until the face is done.
            "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
            Nancy

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            • #7
              Normally I groom the head last, like you that was how I was taught in school. I do however groom the heads first on dogs that seem stressed out or snappy. That way if they are snappy, I can go ahead and muzzle for the rest of the groom, and if they are stressed it is done in the beginning.
              SheilaB from SC

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              • #8
                I wouldn't worry too much about making the head last. Like Helly said after a while you should get a "feel" for making the head proportionate. If you are familiar with the blades and the lengths they leave you should be fine. That being said, I admit it's definitely not something that I learned overnight so in the meantime I just dealt with the open mouth. I hear you on that, it does get to be irritating because it can be pretty difficult to get an even trim with the moth hanging open and some are almost neurotic about it!
                Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                • #9
                  I was actually taught to do the head first, so that if mom and dad come in early, the dog looks done. Or at least more done if the head is not done. I have a bad habit of saving it til the end cause it's usually more intricate work, and I know I can fly through the dog real quick and then work on the face. However, many times I've had owners come in and i'm finishing up the body and they say, can you take some more off the eyes/nose/whatever. And I feel a bit foolish saying....uhhhh, I haven't even touched the face yet, is my grooming that bad that you can't tell??? lol So I try and get the face done first and then it's easier struggling with feet or something when owners are there making puppy nervous vs. eyes and tongue.
                  Erin
                  No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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                  • #10
                    If it comes down to it, I touch the dog's tongue with the side of my greyhound comb, or with my finger if need be. That always gets 'em to shut their trap for a moment. Then I can size it up, and hold the muzzle shut with my fingers slightly and work from there. Do your best. Tell the owners what happened. They'll get over it.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      I was taught to do the head last also. Now that I'm on my own I do what ever suits me. If it is the head I'll do it first, or the legs or even the tail. I'm not picky. Most often though I will do the head/face first, especially if the owners are good about coming early, I want the important part done first.

                      Most of these dogs I've done for years and I know what they are going to look like before I even start them, they are always the same haircut.
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                      Diane

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                      • #12
                        One other reason I do the head first. It's the most intricate part of the groom, so I do it before the dog has a chance to stress me out, lol.

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                        • #13
                          I was taught to also do the head last.. however on some dogs like a nervous shaking, drooling , panting schaunzer I do it first before his beard gets all gross right after I dry it.

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